100% tallow

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Nikolye

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I use a lot of tallow for cooking, soaping basically for sustainability reasons. I am starting to dabble in 60-100% bars more often. I have had some issues, crumbling edges most commonly and fracturing when cutting. But being fully stuck in the mold as well. I have had to freeze it to get it out. (15 hours in mold, 9 in freezer)

100% tallow
25% Lye concentration (full water to combat the crumble)
7% superfat
43c/110f
hand stirred, covered and put away in a cupboard


So I was wondering if this sounds like good tweaks:

-Less water, i added full water to slow down trace and combat crumbling but i think this is making it impossible to get out of mold (so maybe 28 or 31% lye concentration)
-Soap warmer, 45C/114F- this i'm unsure of, the tallow was starting to solidify under 40c/104f so i'm wondering if i was getting a bit of false trace causing issues as well.
-Forcing gel, this is just another option i thought might make it easier to remove.
-Remove from mold in a similar time to 100% coconut, max 12 hours. I think this is a huge factor in fracturing- but if its full water it might still not come out of the mold that soon.

Thanks for any tips in advance from veteran tallow users. I use 30-40% standard in my normal bars with no issue.
 

KristaY

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I can't speak for tallow as I've never used it so don't know how 100% will behave but when I make 100% coconut oil soap I unmold and cut within about 3 hours. If I wait longer, I'll probably break my wire cutter as it's so hard. Maybe unmolding and cutting sooner than 12 hours will help? When I do this I wear all PPO's as I know it's still got active lye so something to consider?
 

lsg

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I don't think that you will have much lather with a 100% tallow bar. I would balance it out with some coconut, Castor oil and maybe a little olive or HO sunflower oil.
 

DeeAnna

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Cut sooner to stop the crumbling. And use a blade or cutter that is flat (bench scraper or wire cutter), not a tapered blade (knife). Tallow makes a brittle, hard soap. You need to cut it when it's at a cheddar cheese consistency, just like any other soap, but that stage happens quicker than with other recipes. If you wait too long, it will be too firm to cut nicely. You can warm the soap to make it more pliable if you accidentally let it go too long.

By soaping at 25% lye concentration, you're risking an emulsion failure in the mold if the soap heats up enough and it doesn't (as you are finding out) necessarily make the soap less brittle. I don't recommend doing CP soap with that low of a lye concentration -- I suggest using at least 28% lye concentration or higher.

If you're having trouble removing soap from the mold, what kind of mold are you using and how are you preparing it for use? This sounds more like an issue with mold preparation than a soap-related issue.
 

Nikolye

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Cut sooner to stop the crumbling. And use a blade or cutter that is flat (bench scraper or wire cutter), not a tapered blade (knife). Tallow makes a brittle, hard soap. You need to cut it when it's at a cheddar cheese consistency, just like any other soap, but that stage happens quicker than with other recipes. If you wait too long, it will be too firm to cut nicely. You can warm the soap to make it more pliable if you accidentally let it go too long.

By soaping at 25% lye concentration, you're risking an emulsion failure in the mold if the soap heats up enough and it doesn't (as you are finding out) necessarily make the soap less brittle. I don't recommend doing CP soap with that low of a lye concentration -- I suggest using at least 28% lye concentration or higher.

If you're having trouble removing soap from the mold, what kind of mold are you using and how are you preparing it for use? This sounds more like an issue with mold preparation than a soap-related issue.


Thank You DeeAnna- I don't usually use that much water, i will def go back down again. Yes, I think cutting sooner is going to help! I realized to late it was stuck in the mold and still needed to freeze it to get it out, it set way to long i think. Will keep an eye on it so i can cut it softer. Lastly, just a silicone loaf mold in a wooden box. I don't do any preparation of these ever, but would be happily apply any tips if you have them! I've had problems getting soap out of these molds only on a few occasions- High tallow recipes and recipes with to much water combined with to much super-fat or liquid oils. When i switched to silicone i had to alter some of my recipes slightly! Love my wood mold, but it makes huge 110g bars and has to be manually lined all the time (we don't have freezer paper here)
 

DeeAnna

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I don't use silicone liners, so I can't help you much. Maybe others will give their suggestions and advice.
 
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